100 Viking swords found in Estonia are the largest discovery to date

SwordPhoto: Omar Prestwich / Unsplash
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The fragments of around 100 swords discovered in Northern Estonia two years ago make up the largest Viking sword find in the country to date.

Scandinavia is an archeological hotspot when it comes to Viking discoveries.

But there’s another Northern European area that has been especially important for Viking finds, too: the Baltic region – and Estonia in particular.

Estonia’s trove of Viking sword fragments

A hoard of sword fragments was found in late autumn of 2018 and it continues to be the largest Viking discovery in Estonia.

Along with swords, a few spearheads were found, too. Everything has been dated to the mid-900s AD.

The find spans across two archeological sites, located just 80 meters from one another, on the coast of Northern Estonia. This territory was known in ancient times as Revala. Today, the region is home to Estonia’s capital city, Tallinn.

Thought to be grave markers, the unearthed swords are broken into pieces for a reason. A burial custom during this time was putting broken or otherwise unusable weapons (along with other personal items) into graves or placing them as grave markers.

The swords were identified as H-type swords; a Viking weapon which has been found across Northern Europe. Around 700 H-type swords, including the Estonian find, have been discovered in total.

Viking presence in ancient Estonia

Estonia’s northern coast is thought to have been part of a key Viking trade route. 

Permanent Viking settlements haven’t been found in the area, but evidence of forts and trading posts has.

This fact, coupled with the lack of Viking artifacts further inland, points to the Estonian coast indeed being part of an ancient Viking transit trail.

Source: Norway Today

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